American in North Korea prison says he feels abandoned

He was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment in 2012.

Ed Adamczyk

TOKYO, July 31 (UPI) -- Kenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen imprisoned in North Korea, told a Japanese newspaper he feels abandoned by the U.S. government.

Bae, 46, was arrested in 2012. He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor after a conviction for allegedly planning to bring down the government through religious activities. Bae, of Lynwood, Wash., was reported to be engaged in Christian missionary work.


He told the pro-North Korea newspaper Choson Sinbo, which has interviewed him in the past, he was heartened by reports the U.S. government was seeking his release but feels abandoned. Moreover, he is worried about an upcoming return to a special labor camp and several undisclosed health problems, which sent him to a Pyongyang hospital.

"He expressed anxiety that if he is to go back to the labor camp, such symptoms may become worse and said he is stressed that he is unable to pay fees for the hospital treatments," the newspaper said, adding the interview was conducted July 30.

Bae is one of three Americans in captivity in North Korea. Matthew Miller Todd was detained in April, as was Jeffrey Fowle in June on unspecified charges, the North Korean state news agency said.

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